Welcome to Eternity

Welcome to Eternity

On Friday morning I will be doing the funeral service for Mimi who passed away the other evening. As odd as it may sound, I have looked forward to this particular funeral for several weeks, not in an excited way, but in an affectionate sort of way. I knew Mimi was in a state of transition – from glory to greater glory. Cancer had claimed her tent, but God was taking her home.

It was only a few months ago that Mimi gave her heart to Christ. Prior to this life changing decision, Mimi was an outspoken atheist. That ended when her sisters invited her to church. Mimi found a hope that atheism doesn’t offer, especially for those who know their days are numbered.

The last time Mimi was able to attend church was on Easter Sunday. She waited for me after service to drop the big question. Her face was pail. Her hair was gone. Yet there was light in her eyes when she asked, “Will you do my funeral service?” Naturally, I agreed.

Our conversation was brief, but unforgettable. I left reflecting on the awesomeness of God – how He steps in at the last hour, dangling the precious gift of eternity, even to those who never gave Him the time of day.

It seems God gets a kick out of blowing the socks off the undeserving, even to the point of making Himself irresistible to those who resist Him. I suppose that’s why it’s call “amazing grace.”

We read of this grace in the gospels. A thief in his final hour hangs upon a cross. It’s what he deserved and he knew it. Then Jesus clobbers him with the unexpected. “See you in paradise, buddy!”

I once witnessed a last minute salvation myself – at the bedside of my father-in-law. He was a delightful man, but chose not to follow the Lord. However, he did grow more curious about Him when cancer claimed His tent. My wife and I unloaded the gospel on him before he could pull up stakes. Once he passed, his eyes lit up like stars, as if to tell us where he was headed.

This same starry look was in Mimi’s eyes when she asked if I would preach at her funeral. That’s why I wasn’t saddened. She had that peace that surpasses all understanding. It gave me peace. And now she is at perfect peace with the Lord.

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”

(1 Corinthians 5:1-5)

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